The Ministry of Information today insisted that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s tweet calling for national dialogue was genuine because “nothing goes on there but that which represents his views and positions on issues and that which he has explicitly cleared”.
Mnangagwa who abandoned his trip to attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland this week to attend to problems at home following a week of violence and looting tweeted on Tuesday: “I invite leaders of all political parties as well as religious and civil leaders to set aside our differences and come together. What unites us is stronger than what could ever divide us. Let’s begin a national dialogue. Let’s put the economy first. Let’s put the people first.”
Presidential spokesman George Charamba was quoted in the online media as disputing this saying Mnangagwa had complained that there was an attempt to put words in his mouth through his twitter account.
“Don’t always believe that which is coming through,” Charamba was quoted as saying.
The Ministry of Information today tweeted that the twitter account was indeed the President’s and nothing was posted there without his approval, a clear indication that he does post the tweets himself.
“There maybe be many fake accounts in HE President Mnangagwa’s name but @edmnangagwa is the legitimate voice of the President. Nothing goes on there but that which represents his views and positions on issues and that which he has explicitly cleared,” the ministry said.
The tweet was retweeted on President Mnangagwa’s twitter account.
Mnangagwa’s call for dialogue has been welcomed but church leaders but opposition leader Nelson Chamisa said there was nothing to welcome since he had called for dialogue first.
He told NewZimbabwe.Com that he was ready to meet Mnangagwa any time.
“I am ready to meet him just the next second. But on condition that we are discussing about reforms; about the agenda to move the country forward, not this whole thing to say Mr Chamisa wants to be included into the government. We are not interested in power; we are interested in the well-being of Zimbabweans – that’s our interests, democracy, freedom, nation a building and peace,” Chamisa said.
Mnangagwa has ruled out a government of national unity on several occasions insisting that there was no need for that since he had a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
One of the biggest hurdles to the talks, however, has been Chamisa’s insistence that he does not recognise Mnangagwa as the legitimate President. He insists that he won the 30 July elections though he polled fewer votes than Mnangagwa and the Constitutional Court threw out his election challenge case.
“I am committed to peace because we believe there is no other way to democracy than peaceful change; that’s why we continue to use platforms of peace, to be able to move forward,” Chamisa said.
The government accuses the MDC of organising the violence that rocked the country on 1 August last year as well as last week when people took to the streets allegedly in protest against the fuel price hike announced by Mnangagwa on 12 January.
Six people were killed by the military in the 1 August violence while there is still no agreement on the number of people killed last week with police saying only three people, including a police officer, were killed while the Human Rights Commission said eight people were killed and activists put the number at 12.